Wow, it's been a while. I've been busy elsewhere, trying to get out of a sticky situation that's more... long term. But more on that later. At the moment, I'm stuck in The Gingerbread Man. Fortunately, I think this is a quick one, but I'm a little rusty on this particular tale.
I'm standing outside a little cottage where a gingerbread man just burst out the door screaming, "I'm the gingerbread man!" So it was pretty easy to pinpoint the title of this story.
A little old woman hobbles out the front door after the little cookie. She's holding a rolling pin. She doesn't look happy. I take a step back, but then I realize she's really slow. So I take off after the little dude too, trying to pass the old woman as fast as I possible can.
As soon as I'm clear of that rolling pin, I look over my shoulder. The old woman seems a little put-out that I caught up so quickly, but that's nothing compared to her husband. He's just now clearing the threshold of the front door with his cane. Poor guy.
I'm gaining on the cookie, enough that I hear him yell at a cow in the field, "Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me. I'm the gingerbread man!"
I need to head him off. Think, Ivy. How does this story end?
Then I see a fox dart across my path. It sparks a memory--the river! That's where he gets caught, I think. I head straight for the river, bypassing a farm and a school. That should save me enough time to catch up.
The gingerbread man taunts some more animal and rounds the school play yard. He's getting closer. The speedy little pastry looks over his shoulder and starts to yell at the kids on the playground when SPLAT! he runs right into my leg.
I bend over and peel him off my pajama pants and hold him as tight as I can without crushing him. He's still warm from the oven. It takes me a minute to catch my breath before I can say anything. Just as the gingerbread man's ... uh... mother? catches up, I manage to say, "Run, run, as fast as you can, buddy. I just saved you from getting eaten!"
I hand him back to the little old woman. "I think he needs more sugar. And maybe some molasses."